Oh dinner time. The kids are hungry, tired, and definitely not at their best. And facing facts, neither am I. I have given up on the hope that my little ones will play cooperatively and kindly while I prepare dinner and instead I plan a quick craft or activity.
Nothing too fancy, definitely nothing messy, and most often a quiet bin from our stash.
I have found that giving my little ones a tiny bit of structure and an engaging quick craft or activity allows for me to get dinner ready in peace. Not to mention it is far better for them as well. Crying and fighting cannot be a beneficial way to work up an appetite!
It is a classic, or at least it is for me. I use to do this when I was a little one.
My husband asked me what the ‘point’ of it was … ‘What do you do with them when they are done?’
(Ironically, he asked this as our little ones were quietly engaged in this activity while we were prepping dinner … I looked at the little ones, and then at the potato in my hand, and simply smiled.)
The point, of course, is for a quiet activity to keep little ones busy.
BUT there is far more going on than just that.
Fork weaving is fantastic for developing fine motor skills. It takes tiny hand movements and concentration to get that thin string to weave in and out of the fork tines.
(Truthful moment: I just googled what the technical term is for ‘fork fingers’. It’s tines.)
Weaving is a great way to help little ones learn about patterning and greater math concepts as well. Counting, patterning, increased focus, and fine motor skill development all with a fork and some string.
For this quick craft all you need is a fork or two and some string. We used embroidery thread (affiliate link) so we could get pretty colours.
The kids spent a lot of time weaving back and forth, tying off their thread and tying on a new colour. It was actually rather surprising to me how engaged they became with it. Just further proof to me that they do truly need that quiet structured activity during that part of the day.
In fact, I think I could get quite engaged with an activity like this during that part of the day. Now to just find someone to make dinner for my family …